Half the cost of this project is earmarked to boost production from the Firebag in-situ oil sands project. In 2001 regulators approved four phases of development at Firebag. The first is 80% complete, and the final phases are covered by the latest expansion plan. Details of the plan are expected later this year.
The other half of this money is to be spent expanding the upgrader, pending regulatory approval. A pair of coke drums, a sulphur recovery plant, and other processing equipment are on the drawing board. Construction at the upgrader could begin early next year and employ 2,800 people. Fifty or 60 permanent positions will be created by Suncor.
Suncor's goal is to reach a capacity of 500,000 to 550,00 bbl/day by 2010 or 2012. The Fort McMurray operations now produce 225,000 bbl/day. See the company's web site at SUNCOR.